The amplified wrestler is also an avid fisherman
Almost every Tuesday night, Bron Breakker can be found on USA Network, amid lights, cameras and screaming fans, usually holding his NXT Championship belt. The 24-year-old wrestling superstar is amped up and his intensity level hovers around 100 mph.
But when he’s away from the spotlight, you can find him out on a lake, holding a fishing rod, enjoying the peace and quiet, and trying to find the perfect bass.
It’s a microcosm of Breakker’s life in the eight months since his debut for the Orlando-based NXT brand – learning his craft, developing his body and skills at the WWE Performance Center east of Orlando, then head out with friends to Lake Apopka, Lake Tohopekaliga, or whatever lake he finds next. And he didn’t want it any other way.
“On my first day of practice at the Performance Center, the first time I stepped foot in the ring, I knew that was where I belonged,” Breakker said. “This is what I was born to do.”
Soon, fans will be able to see more Breakker as NXT resumes home shows in smaller venues across Florida starting June 10 in Tampa. Florida’s once-traditional loop reaches Orlando on July 9 at the Englewood Neighborhood Center. For more information, visit wwe.com/nxttix.
Breakker, real name Bronson Rechsteiner, was truly born for this. As the son of Rick Steiner and nephew of Scott Steiner, two timeless stars, he grew up in the business. During the same month he was born in 1997, the Steiner brothers were battling Public Enemy, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash on WCW Nitro.
But Breakker said it was a meeting with WWE that first let him know he was destined for wrestling. Her older brother attended a big show in Atlanta, not far from their home in Georgia, and came back with a souvenir.
“The first time I really saw WWE as my future was after WrestleMania 27,” he said. “The Undertaker and Triple H in Atlanta. My brother brought home a mug with all the pictures on it, I looked at Triple H on the mug, looking all excited, and I said, ‘I want to be like him. I was 13. I realized that my father and my uncle had done this [for a living]but then I realized that was all I wanted to be my whole life.
Breakker was a star football player and amateur wrestler in high school and then at Kennesaw State where he earned a degree in criminal justice. He was even signed by the Baltimore Ravens as a fullback and had an offseason tryout. But for Breakker, it might as well have been hobbies. He knew where he was going.
When asked if he had a back-up plan if wrestling didn’t work out, Breakker paused before replying, “To be honest with you, I didn’t. Wrestling was in my blood. In my family, that’s what we do.
The fishing side came naturally too. The family lived in Woodstock, Georgia, not far from Lake Allatoona, and Breakker said he spent a lot of time in the woods and in the water.
“I’m a big bass fisherman,” he says. “I loved being outdoors when I was a kid, and we were in the countryside a bit. Now I love going out on a boat with my buddies, in peace. I still learn a lot of the lakes here, but the lake Apopka was a good place and Lake Toho in Kissimmee I hope to find many more.
Yet the majority of the attention remains on the training center and in the ring. Breakker had confidence from day one of NXT, but his game has improved physically and on promotions since then. He credits trainers Robbie Brookside and Fit Finlay for his growth.
“I had to learn the art of sports entertainment and the art of storytelling,” Breakker said. “It’s not always about knowing how you do things, but knowing why. And that’s what I’m still learning every day, in the ring, in the gym, in the movie theater. I will never stop.
Contact Jay Reddick at [email protected]. For more professional wrestling coverage, visit orlandosentinel.com/prowrestling.